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November 17, 2015 7:50 am

France and Israel: Obama’s Double Standard

avatar by Stephen M. Flatow /

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Barack Obama. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

Barack Obama. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza. – Israel’s prime minister has called the latest terrorist attacks “an act of war.” He called the attackers “barbarians,” vowed to wage a war of “no mercy” against them and ordered bombing strikes on “terrorist training camps,” even though they were located adjacent to medical clinics, a museum and a soccer stadium.

Remarkably, neither the Obama administration nor the United Nations condemned Israel’s strong response to the terrorists. Has the world finally come to its senses? Does it finally understand that Islamic terrorism, whether against Israelis or anybody else, is an attack on us all?

Actually, no. Because I misspoke.

It was French President Francois Hollande, not Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the latest terrorism (in Paris) an “act of war.” It was Hollande who called the attackers “barbarians,” and vowed to wage a war of “no mercy” against them. It was the French air force that bombed medical clinics, a museum, and a soccer stadium located near terror camps in the Islamic State-controlled Syrian city of Raqqa.

When Netanyahu says that Palestinian Islamic terrorists have carried out “acts of war,” he is accused of exaggerating the threat. When he calls the killers “barbarians,” he is denounced as a racist. If Israel strikes terrorist sites that are situated near civilian areas, Israel is accused of “war crimes” and “disproportionate” responses.

Remember when Secretary of State John Kerry sarcastically grumbled, “Hell of a ‘pinpoint’ attack,” after one Israeli strike in Gaza? We don’t hear Kerry calling the French bombing of those Raqqa medical clinics a “hell of a ‘pinpoint’ attack.” We don’t hear National Security Adviser Susan Rice demanding that Hollande apologize for describing Islamic killers as “barbarians.” We don’t hear President Barack Obama calling for “both sides” to “exercise restraint” as he always does when Israel responds to Arab terrorists.

On the contrary, Obama administration officials are boasting that the US provided “military intelligence” that assisted the French in their bombing of Raqqa. This, a cynic might say, makes the Obama administration complicit in the bombing of a medical clinic, a museum and a soccer stadium.

Israel has always understood the nature of this conflict. Now, it seems, France does, too.

Yes, every terrorist attack is an act of war. No, the terrorists are not “the JV team,” as President Obama once put it.

Yes, the terrorists are barbarians. No, we should not “show respect even for one’s enemies” and “try to understand…and empathize with their perspective and point of view,” as Hillary Clinton said in her Dec. 3, 2014, speech at Georgetown University, in Washington, DC.

Yes, terror targets must be struck, regardless of whether or not they are situated near civilian sites.

And yes, the terrorists must be fought with “no mercy” and completely destroyed — not merely “contained” or “degraded,” as President Obama often says.

France’s leaders have belatedly awakened to the fact that the civilized world is at war with the forces of Islamic terrorism. Israel is one front in that war. France is another. And if the Obama administration does not wake up and fight, then America will soon become the next front.

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

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  • Yale

    >>Israel has always understood the nature of this conflict. Now, it seems, France does, too.

    We’ll know whether France really understands what it is up against if it changes its position on the Palestine-Israel conflict and stands at Israel’s side.

  • James Enero

    Great article. I agree Obama has double standards.

    Does anyone believe Obama (Mr. Righteous) would be shedding a tear for Jews trying to escape deportation and extermination 1939-1945, or wanting to take in Jews after the holocaust? ABSOLUTELY NOT – not this protege of Rev Wright.

    Obama worries about Muslim refugees. While it’s tragic what is happening in Syria and one cannot help but feel anything but compassion for innocent people trying to escape, Obama didn’t seem to blink an eye over the plight of Christians being massacred by DAESH. Why weren’t they airlifted to America to escape massacre?

    Jews do not matter in the Obama administration. In reality, it was all pretty self-evident that Obama disliked Jews. He chose one of the vile, anti-American and anti-Semetic people in America as his surrogate father. What more evidence did anyone need. I regret I didn’t wake up sooner.

    As much as I looked forward to electing the first African American president, I look forward to the end of his term. Listening to his comments in Turkey was an embarrassment. “Popping off” –is not a term a President should use on the world stage or talking about American politics.

    Maybe he will give Americans a gift for putting up with him and leave early. Let Americans have Joe Biden for the rest of the term. He has real true substance, intelligence, and heart to lead America.

  • Joshua W. Wells Jr

    Thanks for publishing this article. At last, I have read something that finally says, wake up America.k I also like the idea, that it isn’t just France’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem. Until, we as a community wake up see that what happens to one country, affects us all on a bigger scale.

  • Robert Davis

    Although regrettable this attack over paris is well deserved considering the suppot France gives “palestinian” terrorists, its political huge support in particular for a “palestinian” state which never existed except in the sick minds of kgb in the 70s; All of this support by France to those terrorists have made arabs think that terrorism can be supported in the west and why not their terrorism too? indeed daesh terror is not different from that of the fake “palestinians” it is exactly the same. If France supports the first it should suppoert the second and mybe that by increasins dramatically terror against France it will end up being accepted and even glorified. The one to be blamed is only french governments which support terror by sheer antisemitism.

  • Lauren Goldman

    It is amazing how the world is so cavalier when these acts of terror take place in Israel but now, suddenly the Islamic terrorists evil and must be done away with. Perhaps the world will understand that this is a global war which must be fought with no mercy. There should be no prisoners taken and there should be no option to surrender.

  • Franklin Delano Paskutnik

    Don’t hold your breath – Obama is not going to change his stance vis-a-vis Israel.Israel and the Jewish world will have to wait until he is out of the White House for reason and sanity to prevail again in American foreign policy.Anyone – even Hillary – will be better!Obama has already shown his hand with respect to Islamic terrorism;he does not consider these Muslim terrorists as “true” Muslims as,in his philosphy,Islam – as he has pointed out countless times – is a “religion of peace”.The hatred and aversion published and broadcast in Muslim-controlled media and in sermons by imams in mosques throughout the world against Israel,the US and the West in general reveal the true face of Islam.In sharia law non-Muslims are considered infidels and second-class citizens and if they wish to live in a Muslim country they have to pay a special poll-tax.Talk about “Apartheid Islam”!

  • ART

    Jewish lives matter!!! Only Jews are held to a super human even saintly standard of behavior, and Jews like tom friedman and Rabbi eric yoffe lead the demands. Like Ben Gurion said a Jewish state will be like any other state with doctors and criminals. We try to be just but we are after all just human

  • John Glueck

    Thank you for your cogent perspective and the call to action Mr. Flatow. It has taken all of these years for a cynical and corrupt media to begin to call out our community organizer in chief for his actions. D’nesh D’Souza’s excellent movie about him was so prophetic; he has hoped to degrade the status of America as a great world leader, rejecting our exceptionalism and calling. He has bowed and scraped before our enemies and worse as well as ignoring, offending and abandoning our allies. Please continue to document this absurd double standard vis’a vis’ Israel. How we need the American Jewish community to wake up and stop supporting corrupt leftist leaders that are merely using the Jewish community for monetary support and political gain.

  • steven L

    Antisemites remain antisemites.

  • Jack Schoen

    Obama and double standards ? He has not got any !

  • Dave L

    What a succinct and perfect statement! Thank you, Mr. Flatow, for this excellent article.